Today is Valentines day and also my most wonderful mothers birthday. A beautiful day for love of all kinds and a reminder to celebrate and appreciate all the different types of love on all of the days.
Although made from traditional aphrodisiac herbs these truffles do not just have to be shared with a partner. These hit on all levels of love that I would happily share with my mum and family during birthday celebrations. Although the word aphrodisiac originates from Aphrodite , the greek goodness of love, beauty, desire and fertility, herbal aphrodisiacs are not always only attributed to sexual love. They also offer an opening of the heart, relaxation of the mind and body, increased awareness of the senses and an ability to see beauty in the everyday. What a wonderful tool to have in our kitchen medicine chest.
These truffles start with a base of chocolate, one of the foods most associated with love. Chocolate actually contains chemicals that mimic those released when falling in love as well as ones that help stimulate sexual arousal. wow.
Damiana, arguably one of the most well known and most studied western herbal aphrodisiacs, has traditionally been used to increase sexual desire, performance and increase positive mood and feelings of wellbeing. Look it up…
Tulsi, or holy basil is considered an adaptogen which can help your body deal with stress and the adverse effects of stress. Stress effects us in many ways both physically and emotionally and can play a hugely negative role in how we go about our relationships. Adaptogenic herbs like Tulsi can help regulate stress hormones giving us more room to be open to experience loving relationship and feelings of joy and happiness.
Roses are a symbol of love across many cultures , and quite rightly too. Although not an aphrodisiac in the traditional sense, the scent of a rose can calm and over active mind, reduce stress and enhance feelings of wellbeing.
Hawthorn - one of my favourite herbs has a special affinity for the heart. Physically it is thought to increase coronary blood flow and may regulate blood pressure and is particularly beneficial to those with a nervous heart. On and emotional level, hawthorn is thought to give courage to a wounded heart and open it up to giving and receiving of love.
These herb infused truffles are VERY medicinal , one or two will do. Best made the day before these will keep for months in the freezer for a little love any and every day.
And actually! Infusing chocolate with herbs is a very effective method of home medicine making. Use what ever herbs you like, the actions will change but regardless, chocolate is most definitely medicine.
Damiana, Tulsi, Rose + Hawthorn Infused Love Truffles
400ml coconut cream
200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp dried damiana leaf
1 Tbsp dried rose petals (or fresh petals of 2 blooms)
1 Tbsp dried Tulsi leaf
1 Tbsp crushed dried hawthorn berries (if you have fresh use 1Tbsp leaves + 1 Tbsp berries)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
200g dark chocolate
crushed dried rose petals
flakey sea salt
Pace all herbs, vanilla, cayenne, salt + coconut cream in a heavy bottomed pan and slowly heat until just below boiling. Turn off the heat, pop lid on and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
Once infused, strain herbs through fine sieve or cheesecloth and squeeze as much of the coconut cream out as possible. Place back on the the stove and heat again until just below a simmer.
Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl and pour hot coconut cream over the top. Leave for 30 seconds before stirring until smooth and velvety. I also put a dropper full of my homemade damiana + hawthorn tincture at this stage for extra potency - you could add a little brandy or other infused spirit if you like.
Place in fridge at least 4 hours till set. Once set take a tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls. Pop on a plate and put in the freezer until frozen.
When ready to coat, gently melt chocolate in a double boiler. Coat frozen truffles in the chocolate, place on grease proof paper and quickly decorate with crushed rose petals and a pinch of sea salt.
Done! chocolate will set almost immediately on frozen truffles so place in fridge until ready to serve or pop in the freezer to grab when ever the mood strikes/whenever you want to get in the mood.
Happy love day to all, happy love everyday to all and Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mumma!
Penelope (BDes(hons), BCA, ND, Dip. Med Herb) is a trained chef, medical herbalist, naturopath and holistic nutritionist and has recently completed her design thesis which focused primarily on methods of incorporating plants, medicine and feelings of joy into culinary products and experiences.